Patrick Ruther: The NeuroProbes project – Silicon based neural probe arrays interfacing brain tissue on the electrical, chemical and mechanical domain
Talk by Patrick Ruther, Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK), University of Freiburg, Germany. Given to the Redwood Center for Theoretical Neuroscience at UC Berkeley.
We will present the scientific results on multi-functional intracortical probe arrays developed in the NeuroProbes project (2006-2010), an Integrated Project funded by the European Commission under the Information Society Technologies (IST) topic of the 6th Framework Program. The probes are based on silicon and interface neural tissue on (i) the electrical, (ii) chemical and (iii) mechanical domain. The modular system architecture developed in NeuroProbes allows for integration of various functionalities on the same probe shaft and the assembly of probes to 1-dimensional (1D), 2D as well as 3D arrays on a slim platform.
The probes developed in NeuroProbes comprise (i) electrodes on slender probe shafts, (ii) amperometric biosensors to detect neurotransmitters, (iii) microfluidic channels for a localized drug dispensing using a miniaturized pump, as well as (iv) stress sensors arrays to monitor the mechanical interaction between neural tissue and the probe shafts. The electrodes are either available as passive electrodes or as active ones co-integrated with a CMOS based switching matrix on the probe shafts. The CMOS integrated probes containing 188 electrodes (diameter 20 μm, pitch 40 μm) per probe shaft are applied in electronic depth control (EDC) circumventing a mechanical fine adjustment of the insertion depth.